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Mike Zimmer Cut From Legendary Coaching Cloth

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer has a history in the NFL.

He was the Defensive Coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys for seven years, four of them being under the legendary Bill Parcells.

In 2007, he was the Defensive Coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons, and held that same position with the Cincinnati Bengals from 2008-13.

Zimmer has crossed paths with several active head coaches in league today. Steve Serby of the New York Post writes that Zimmer is cut from a legendary coaching cloth, that has proved Super Bowl success for three other coaches in the NFL.

The branches from the Bill Parcells coaching tree — Bill Belichick (4), Tom Coughlin (2) and Sean Payton (1) — have totaled seven Super Bowl championships. No one should be surprised if Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer one day hoists a Lombardi Trophy of his own.

So much depends on the development of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, as well as the relationship with the front office and the organization's commitment to winning, but Zimmer looks like a Purple People Eating dream.

"First of all, his father was a coach, and I always think that's a good thing, because these guys have lived this all their lives," Bill Parcells told The Post. "They're around it from the time they're young boys at the dinner table. It's being talked about, and it kind of gives them a little jump. They've got information at an earlier age than the people that don't live it everyday.

"He's got good leadership ability. He's very, very honest. He's very candid with the players. … I mean, there's no possible way they could mistake what he's thinking, or what he's saying. It's not ambiguous."

Vikings sit alone atop of NFC North

The Vikings won their fifth consecutive game for the first time since the beginning of the 2009 season, with a 30-14 victory over the Oakland Raiders Sunday.

The Packers' 18-16 loss against the Detroit Lions set Minnesota (7-2) alone atop the NFC North.

Mark Sessler of NFL.com gave a list of what fans need to know about the Minnesota Vikings, after the win on the West Coast. Here are a few:

The Vikings dialed up a time-tested plan on offense: Hand it to *Adrian Peterson. Rinse and repeat.The All-Pro back barreled through Oakland's fifth-ranked run defense for 203 yards on 26 attempts, marking the sixth 200-yard outing of his stellar career. It was impressive to watch Peterson grow stronger as the game progressed, plowing for tough yards and chewing up the clock before breaking free on an 80-yard touchdown gallop in the fourth quarter that sunk a knife into theRaiders. It was Peterson's biggest output since running for 211 yards in Week 13 against the Bears in 2013.

….

*Minnesota's sixth-ranked defense hasn't gotten its due this season. Space-eating nose tackle Linval Joseph played another fine game while Harrison Smith operated again as a hard-hitting, hammer-dropping safety. *

With Green Bay (6-3) inexplicably falling to the Lions on Sunday, underrated Minnesota now stands alone atop the NFC North. The Vikings play the suddenly sinking Packers next week before facing a rough three-game stretch against the Falcons, Seahawks and Cardinals.

Vikings win fifth-straight with efficiency in three phases

Most teams who played against the Oakland Raiders this season attacked through the air to combat one of the league's worst pass defenses.  The Raiders have allowed 293.2 passing yards a game, which is good for 31st in the league.

The Vikings beat the Rams in a different fashion. The team caused turnovers on defense, pounded the ball on the ground for 200 yards, and scored a touchdown on a 93-yard kickoff return.

Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune wrote how the Vikings won with efficiency on every side of the ball.

Despite the modest passing numbers from Bridgewater, the Vikings are one of the most complete teams in the NFL. They now rank first in scoring defense. They are one of the league's most dangerous teams on special teams. And with a season high in rushing yards, Peterson gave himself a comfortable cushion in the race for the rushing title.

"I think that's how our team is built," coach Mike Zimmer said. "We've played great on special teams all year long. We've played good on defense for the most part. Offensively, we've had our spurts, but I expect them to continue to get better."

Quick Hitters

Andy Benoit of Sports Illustrated wrote about what makes the Vikings tick this season in the Monday Morning Quarterback blog. 

For second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, every week there's another stat, writes Jarrett Bell of USA Today Sports.

Mark Craig of the Star Tribune gave his five extra points after Sunday's victory.

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